Common Names Polka dot plant, flamingo plant, freckle face, measles plant, pink dot Botanical Name Hypoestes phyllostachya Family Acanthaceae Plant Type Herbaceous, perennial Mature Size 1-2 ft. tall, 1-2 ft.
wide Sun Exposure Partial Soil Type Moist, well-drained Soil pH Slightly Acidic to Neutral (6.1 to 7.3) Bloom Time Summer or early fall Flower Color Lilac or pink Hardiness Zones 10 to 11, USDA Native Area Madagascar Toxicity Nontoxic.Polka dot plants bloom sporadically, typically during the summer, with small lilac or pink-colored flowers on spikes.Pinch off these flower spikes to keep the plant’s energy focused on growing its vibrant foliage.Warning Polka dot plants have become a problematic, aggressive grower in Queensland and New South Wales, Australia.Polka dot plants prefer organically rich soil with good drainage.Avoid letting the soil completely dry out, which can cause the foliage to wilt and make the plant struggle to survive.Feed container plants with an organic fertilizer designed for houseplants once a month during the warm growing season.Pink Splash polka dot plant David Q. Cavagnaro / Getty Images.You’ll need a pair of clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to keep the plant from developing long, lanky branches.To promote a bushier growth habit, cut or pinch back the top two leaves on each stem weekly.Although flowers sound nice, it's best to clip them when they start appearing to extend the growing season of your polka dot plant.You can propagate from cuttings anytime; however, your success rate of growing a healthy plant will be best in the spring or summer.Let's examine how to propagate your polka dot plant from a stem cutting rooted in water or moist soil.To propagate the polka dot plant using stem cuttings, you will need a sterilized pair of scissors or shears.Every other week, change the water entirely to inhibit bacterial or algae growth until the root grows up to 2 inches long.If rooting in the soil, place the fresh-cut end of your cutting into potting mix or peat moss and keep it evenly moist.Cover the cutting with clear plastic wrap until the stem develops leaves or other obvious growth.Once the seedling has grown several inches—usually in a couple of weeks—it is ready to transplant into a larger container or plant outdoors.A sure sign your plant has outgrown its pot is when the roots start growing out of the drainage holes.Too large a pot encourages the roots to focus on growing below the soil line, which is not good for the plant's upward growth.Before the first frost, you can cut stems from the plant, root them indoors in a small potting container or jar of water.Common pests that enjoy polka dot plants are mealybugs, aphids, and whiteflies.The shortening of daylight hours tells the plant that the growing season is coming to a close, encouraging its flower growth.Insufficient water and humidity can cause the polka dot plant's leaves to turn brown or start drooping.Hard water and overfertilization are other reasons for a polka dot plant's leaves turning brown.If you notice leaves yellowing, reduce the amount of water you give the plant and make sure you're using potting soil with good drainage.
Polka Dot Plant Care (Hypoestes Phyllostachya)
The first known and popularized variety of Polka dot plants had small leaves with pink spots in contrast to its dark green base leaf.The flowers can be removed as they tend to take up all the plant’s energy and eventually make it leggy.Hypoestes Phyllostachys has been extensively used to cover garden beds for a pop of color or as centerpieces in houses.Common names: Polka dot plant, freckle face, morning glory lobelia.Avoid overwatering and feed your plant with diluted liquid fertilizer regularly.Common problems: Mealy bugs, aphids, leaf scales, powdery mildew, and root rot.The Polka dot plant is often sold in small pots of around 3 to 5 inches in size.To keep the colors of Polka Dot plant leaves bright and vibrant good light conditions are a must.Indoors, a spot near a window with morning sun will give your plant a good amount of healthy sunlight.Keep in mind that flowers can cause the plant to be leggy as it expends too much energy on allowing them to bloom.One of the most important things when it comes to polka dot plant care is a good watering routine.The leaves easily wilt or turn crispy if the potting mix stays dry for too long.Frequency of watering will greatly depend on the soil mix you are using as well as the humidity of your house.The air humidity of your home is what determines if this your Polka dot plant care will be easy or not.Dead leaves attract pests and fungal growth and can harm the healthy parts of your plant.If you just brought your plant home, you can wait a couple of weeks before you start fertilizing.Polka dot plants need regular feeding, especially during the growing season.Use a liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength and incorporate in one of your watering schedules.This will help maintain the bright color of the plant and promote good and fast growth.Most general potting soils fit that description and are good enough for Polka dot plants.Roots will also start poking out of the pot, which means that the plant needs to be repotted in a bigger container.Remove the bottom leaves closest to the nodes as this will attract pests and diseases.Keep your propagations away from direct bright light until they form roots and the plants bounce back.When grown from seeds, Hypoestes usually tend to initially produce green leaves and eventually colored ones.Polka dot plants tend to attract a few pests, such as mealybugs, aphids, and scales.If you are not sold on using industrial pesticides, diluted alcohol works wonders for mealybugs and scales.Motile when young, scales tend to permanently cling to the leaf as they mature and absorb its nutrients.Sickly Polka dot plants look droopy even after watering and may start showing signs of yellowing. .
How to Grow and Care for Polka Dot Plants
The cheery plant is known for its brightly patterned leaves, which show off splashy red, pink, and white tones against a deep green background.The plant's small size means it won't make much of an impact in an outdoor garden but can add a pretty accent to a small-scale planter.Indoors, polka dot plants prefer rich, well-drained soil, frequent misting to recreate tropical humidity, monthly fertilizing, and filtered sun or part shade locations that keep its colors vibrant. .
Polka dot plant propagation
If you want to propagate a polka dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) with as little effort as possible, the water method is your best friend!And it doubles as home decor: plant cuttings in a nice propagation station are a great statement piece.Just make sure that the section you use has at least two healthy leaves at the top and a couple of nodes, which are the bumps that new roots will sprout from.Change the water out once or so a week to get rid of any gunk buildup and promote healthy growth.The standard rule of thumb is to wait until the roots have grown at least two inches before repotting into soil.A coarse soil, such as a cactus mix, will do fine fo a polka dot plant.Water needs to be able to flow out of the container to prevent issues with root rot, which can quickly kill a houseplant.If you really want to give your cuttings a boost, you can place them in a clear plastic storage box (that still allows light to enter).Once you’ve successfully propagated polka dot plants, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the basics of what they need to survive and thrive!If you can’t get enough of the beautiful pink, silver or red patches, then you’ll need to make sure your plants have plenty of light.Without sufficient bright, indirect sunlight, the variegation will gradually fade away and your plant will start growing leggy.Strong but indirect light, like on a windowsill that doesn’t receive direct sun, is perfect.As mentioned above, polka dot plants aren’t too picky when it comes to soil, although your mixture should be well-draining and rich in nutrients.Whatever mix you use, you can toss in a handful of compost or worm castings for that extra nutritious kick that your plants will surely appreciate.When it comes to watering polka dot plants, they like the soil to be lightly moist at all times but never soggy.Like many houseplants, polka dot plants benefit from getting extra nutrients during the growing season (spring and summer).During the fall and winter months, when houseplants like the polka dot plant aren’t actively growing, you should stop fertilizing.If you have any more questions about polka dot plant propagation or want to share your own experiences with these colorful houseplants, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. .
How to grow polka dot plant indoors
When I give my garden talk on decorating your home with houseplants, polka dot plant (hypoestes phyllostachya) is one of my favorite examples.Add to the polka dots on the plant the fact that this species comes in several striking color combinations.Use pink polka dot plant to play up the colors and design patterns of your indoor furnishings.Bright, indirect light is what pink polka dot plant requires.Place polka dot plant two feet from an unobstructed eastern or southern window.At the same time, be sure not to keep the soil soaking wet, as the plant will also succumb to root rot.Also remember that the smaller the container polka dot plant is in, the more quickly it will dry out.Polka dot plant requires relatively humid conditions and temperatures of 75 to 80 degrees.Prevent this from occurring by pinching back the leaf tips on a weekly basis. .
Polka Dot Plant Pot
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